Murphy runs for NJ Governor 2017 ?>

Murphy runs for NJ Governor 2017

Phil Murphy, former Goldman Sachs executive, DNC finance chair, and ambassador to Germany, has announced his candidacy for governor of New Jersey in 2017.  Murphy says he doesn’t owe the insiders anything.

Murphy’s comment about not being a political insider seems a bit disingenuous.  He was after all part of the Democratic National Committee and served in the Obama administration.

Student loans and college tuition

Murphy sings from Sanders’ playbook where college tuition and student loans are concerned.  He describes student loan forgiveness provided by employers and the state in varying degrees based on where you work and live.

Murphy does not address the total cost of a college tuition initiative, hinting that it would be placed on employers.  New Jersey needs to support its community college system. We cannot afford to do so if people live here to take advantage of the benefit, then leave once they’ve gotten it.  This writer is absolutely in favor of subsidized public colleges.  The education, though, must be a completive college education, not an extension of secondary education with social promotion.

Gas Tax

Murphy supports a 15-25 cent increase in the gas tax.  He describes this is necessary to invest in the core essential infrastructure.

There is no question the coffers of the TTF needs to be refilled.  Murphy is right on that.  He says nothing about reducing the cost of the NJ highway and public transit systems.

School Funding

Murphy supports state funding based on needs, which he listed as single parent, eligibility to for subsidized lunches, and special education needs.

Murphy’s words are a restatement of the Abbott plan, which mandates state aid to underperforming urban schools.

Testing in NJ Schools

Murphy opposes PARCC testing for NJ high schools, He claims, “They are outdated, expensive, and not useful to students.”  He goes on to say that eliminating PARCC will, “Eliminate student and teacher stress.  Create new and innovative tests to track student progress and provide real-time feedback.”  He sets out another goal, saying, “Save money.  Adaptive, computer-based tests have been proven to cost a fraction of PARCC.”

Adaptive testing is great and innovative but there’s no indication it can be developed and deployed for less than $25 per administration.  Murphy’s stated goal of reducing stress to students is ludicrous. School is supposed to be stressful.  Without motivation, students don’t learn.  Reducing stress to teachers is pandering.  Teachers need to be measured, compensated, and retained based on performance. Time in service is not the way to run the best school system in the country.

Adaptive tests are tests whose questions change based on the correctness of previous answers.  A test taker who answers questions correctly is posed questions of increasing difficulty.  A test taker who answers questions incorrectly is posed questions of decreasing difficulty.  This reduces the number of questions required for a result, but the student gets only one chance to see a question.  Whether that is more or less stressful I leave you to decide.

Minimum Wage

Murphy is in favor of raising the minimum wage.

Guns

Murphy is in favor of laws that reduce gun violence.

What this means in practice remains to seen.  He has no track record in the state house on which to make a prediction.

Is Murphy serious?

Murphy is very serious.  He is the first Democrat to declare his candidacy.  After four years of a Republican governor, a Democrat has a good chance.

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